The average price of a PC bought in the UK has risen by 30% in the last year along. Data collected by market analyst CONTEXT revealed that the average selling price for all desktops, notebooks and workstations hit £480 during the month of August 2017, up from £340 the prior year.
It’s worth bearing in mind as well that while the £480 / $650 may seem low at first blush, this figure includes the large number of low-end PCs bought for work and home office purposes, as well as student laptops.
There’s a huge number of factors at play here, beginning most obviously with the UK’s EU referendum that took place last year. The plummeting value of the pound due to Brexit uncertainty raises the price of imports, affecting just about all PC components. Dell was swift to raise prices for all its products by 10% immediately following the referendum result. CONTEXT believe this is the single biggest issue affecting the rising prices, but it’s not the sole reason.
As we’ve detailed previously, DRAM and NAND shortages are also to blame. Memory is being syphoned off to the highest bidder, which is currently the mobile phone market. This has driven up the prices of memory, SSDs and graphics cards, among other components. Graphics card VRAM memory prices rose 30% in August alone, and SSD prices are set to rise until 2018.
I think it can be argued as well that the prices of graphics cards have risen independently of currency fluctuations. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970 launched in 2014 for $329 while the GeForce GTX 1070 initially cost $399, and good luck finding one for that price now. Part of this is Nvidia and AMD simply adapting prices to demand, leading to situations we have now where graphics cards can cost hundreds of pounds more than their true asking price due to unprecedented demand from cryptocurrency miners.
For UK gamers it just means we’re going to have to play it a little safe for a while. Building a PC can be an expensive process in this day and age, although by that same token it’s never really been easier to build a mid-tier PC capable of excellent gaming performance.
UK GD'ers, how have you found the rising cost of components over the last year? Noticed a major change or is this no big deal? Let us know!